(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Instead, it was the Indians' third baseman, a man cast off by the Red Sox not long ago who kicked them while they were down and ensured they would not be winning this series.
That's right, Brent Lillibridge just beat the Red Sox. Or at least he beat them as much as they beat themselves.
In a classic example of early foreshadowing not really ever paying out, Franklin Morales was good early, Zach McAllister was shaky. Morales struck out the side in the first, McAllister surrendered two very long fly balls in the second. And then Morales gave up a solo shot to Lillibridge in the bottom of the third, and the Red Sox were behind 1-0.
McAllister would give up two runs to the Sox in the fourth, as some curious plays involving an uncovered third base let two men reach base behind Jacoby Ellsbury's leadoff double, loading the bases with zero outs. Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate, launched the ball off the high wall in left just shy of a homer, and plated two, but the rally was dampened by Dustin Pedroia running into the first out trying to score from first.
Morales would let the Indians tie the game in the bottom of the fifth, and then after Jacoby Ellsbury wasted an opportunity by being thrown out at third trying to stretch another leadoff double into a triple, the Indians jumped ahead in the bottom of the sixth. They would establish a picket fence from there, scoring once again in the seventh, and again in the eighth. The Sox mounted no serious rally, and down they went.
That Brent Lillibridge was in on three of the runs, knocking one in and scoring another in addition to his homer, and even made the tag on Ellsbury for good measure, is just salt in the wound.